Thursday, January 29, 2015

nursery artwork.

Picking out artwork for Rowan's nursery was such a strange experience. It was definitely one of my favorite parts of that room makeover, but it was also difficult to choose art for someone I'd never met. I mean, obviously, the whole room was decorated to suit my tastes (...and J.J.'s, I guess? Sure, why not), but I very much wanted to find some art that represented what I want her early years to encompass: fun, color, light, and cheer.

To start, I took a look around the room to figure out where I wanted to place any art pieces I found. There were three wall spaces in the nursery that stood out to me: the walls above her crib, the wall above her bookshelves, and the wall between the window and closet.

For the walls above the crib, I had a vision of three or four pieces in white frames, all different but hopefully tied together somehow - by color or theme or artist; I wasn't sure. I spent a lot of preggo evenings scouring Etsy (I searched "nursery art" and "baby girl nursery") for some cute, affordable artwork. Eventually, I stumbled on my three favorites:

(from here)

(from here)

(from here)

How did I choose these three? Well, as for the watercolor quote, "Dear Prudence" is one of my favorite Beatles songs. This quote + the colors = perfection. I still sing this little snippet to Rowan most nights before she goes to sleep. As for the watercolor hippo and the geometric balloons, I just loved the looks of them - and the way all three seemed to compliment each other and coordinate with the nursery colors (gray and aqua). Each was also a reasonable price ($15 for the first two, $25 for the balloon print) and fit perfectly in Ikea RIBBA frames. Actually - being just a wee bit neurotic, I removed the glass insert from each frame and hung them with both nails and Command strips...and measured to make sure she can't reach them at all. I was nervous about hanging such large and heavy frames over her crib, but trust me, they're not moving an inch.

Moving on to the wall above the rain-gutter bookshelves that we made - we actually got really lucky here. Originally, I didn't plan on doing anything with this wall, not even the bookshelves. 

It's a small space, and the door of the room opens up on it, so I'd never paid much attention to it. But when I saw rain-gutter bookshelves on Pinterest, I loved them and knew they'd work well in that dead space. That left a big blank yawn over them, though. I had no clue what to put there, since I wasn't even planning on spending the money that we did on the three Etsy pieces, so I put off figuring out a solution.

Procrastination for the win! In early September (a couple weeks before Rowan was born), my lovely coworkers threw a baby shower for us, and we received one of my all-time favorite presents:

Four of the teachers from my work (all of whom are friends who worked with both J.J. and me) made this amazing, 3-D elephant canvas. I don't actually have details on how they did it, but I do know they used papier-mache and that their students (four- and five-year-olds) helped. The canvas had actually warped from all the moisture of the papier-mache, but I used Command strips on each corner to hang it, and that easily fixed the warping issue. Rowan loves finding all the birds and telling me what the elephants say. And, of course, the fact that our friends created this makes it that much sweeter.

As for the final space, I wavered. I had three small-ish floating shelves from Target that I thought would be cute for displaying a few things that I wanted to keep of Baby's reach, but I had to choose: the wall between the window and the closet, or the space on the other side of the window, above our reading corner. I decided the shelves looked better - more balanced as a group - between the window and the closet. After an easy installation, I filled them up - namely, with two picture frames from HomeGoods, where I planned to insert the latest and greatest pictures of my sweet girl as she grew. Well?

So much for an ever-changing rotation of adorable baby pictures. One frame is still empty, and the other holds one of Rowan's newborn pics. Eh, whatever. The frames are kept company by a humidity sensor, a tiny duck that Gramma brought to the hospital when Rowan was born, and a white bunny that J.J. and I bought on our last vacation before Rowan came. Oh, and there's the little green "Party" block (also a gift). Someday someone will put up-to-date photos in those nice frames, which were CLEARLY custom-designed, magically, for this nursery's color scheme.

There's one more wall decoration that I hadn't planned on, but ended up absolutely loving. Another friend/co-worker (hi, Lynnie!) was kind enough to find these cute wooden letter blocks just for Rowan at a local shop:

I hadn't realized before Rowan was born how much I would love having her name hanging in the room. The blocks ended up being the final touch I didn't know we needed to make the room really hers

The funny thing is, now that I know her, I think the art we chose is perfect - but I think the color scheme of the room is off. The gray walls are fine, but she's just much more of a pink person. I don't mean it terms of color preference - she doesn't seem to have a favorite - but just in terms of the vibe I get from her. But! While the colors might not be totally in line with her personality, the artwork definitely is. Full of fun, color, light, and cheer. Just as I'd hoped.

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